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Hortitherapy, or therapy related to being in the garden, helps not only in the treatment of mental illnesses, but also in many other ailments. There is scientific evidence that working in the garden makes you happy!

Hortitherapydates back to ancient Egypt, where priests and doctors recommended garden walks as a remedy for mental illness.

Hippocrates himself claimed that "nature is a medicine in every disease".

Of course, such treatment was not available to everyone and privileged people from the immediate vicinity of the pharaoh could enjoy it.

Being in the garden affects the feeling of happiness

Green calms down and has a positive effect on the body. Why is this happening? It is worth recalling the theories of Wilson's biophilia, who argued that man at the stage of evolution was genetically conditioned in such a way as to react positively to the natural environment (including parks and gardens). Nature, like all green areas, gives a sense of security and peace, which makes it easier to regain strength and he alth.

The theory of "overload and agitation" is also worth attention. It shows that plants influence the preservation of internal balance and reduce the excitation caused by the factors of modern civilization - noise, overload of information and images.

The surrounding greenery, flowers and nature stimulate all senses. Scientists have also proved that the bacteria in the soil stimulate the secretion of serotonin in the human body, called the hormone of happiness. Serotonin also affects digestive processes, sleep, and sexual performance. So you can say that working in the garden brings happiness!

Who is hortitherapy for?

Hortiotherapy is often used in the treatment of illnesses related to disability after accidents, strokes (e.g. paralysis). Green therapy supports the fight against mental diseases, depression and various addictions. In some countries, being and working in the garden are points in the process of rehabilitating prisoners.

Opponents of hortiotherapy argue that the body is overloaded during work, and that dangerous factors (plants that are allergic and contain toxic compounds) are not covered in reality - the therapy is not harmful topatients. Gardens that function as therapy facilities are specially designed and free from dangerous plant species. Their individualization concerns, among others wider paths and patches on platforms for disabled, elderly or small children - a discount for children.

Garden therapy - for adults and children

Treatment with gardens, apart from the beneficial role of exercise and movement, helps maintain mental balance, reduces stress and improves concentration. It is worth cultivating ornamental plants on your own plot, and even on the balcony. The work can be dosed so that it does not put too much strain on the body. It is also worth encouraging children to join them. Then - by allocating a small area in the garden for which they will be responsible - they can learn a lot about the fascinating life of the world of garden fauna and flora. The child, delighted by the trust shown, will acquire manual skills and will spend more time outdoors.

Worth knowing

Active or passive hortitherapy?Usually "treatment in gardens" is divided into two types: active and passive. In the first case, the patient takes an active part in all the gardening works that are possible for him, from weeding, planting, watering plants to harvesting and decorating. In passive hortiotherapy, patients stay in the garden and walk, enjoying its beauty, but due to their illness they do not perform physical work.

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